ansible

Ansible vs Ansible Tower

The latest Content management tool is Ansible. This was developed and released in 2012 by the AnsibleWorks (previous name of the company). Like other CM applications, the Ansible does not have a master-and-minion setup. The main difference between ansible and others like Chef, Puppet, CFEngine and Salt lies here.

Another thing that has come into the existence by a similar name is the Ansible Tower. This one is different from normal Ansible because this web-based interface helps in the management of Ansible. The Ansible Tower was introduced when the Ansible users want an easy-to-use UI. They help in managing the quick deployments and one’s configuration becomes easy to be monitored. This article is all about helping you find out the difference between Ansible and Ansible Tower. Let us find out knowing them by details.

What Is Ansible?

Ansible, an open source product is available on Windows, Linux/Unix Operating systems. Because of the inefficiencies in the then CM tools, the Ansible was developed. The features that are the main focus of Ansible are as follows:

Causing Of the Overheads by the Agents

Ansible is a unique tool that uses an agentless architecture. To deploy the modules to the nodes it generally relies on the tested SSH. The modules are stored temporarily in the nodes and thus help in controlling the machines over a standard protocol through JSON protocol. When the nodes are not being managed by it the resources are also not consumed because no daemons or programs are executed in the background.

No Dependence on Ruby

Other CM apps were dependent on Ruby, but, Ansible is not. Thus, to create commands in Puppet and Chef one needs to have knowledge of Ruby. As the creators have made Ansible in python, it is relatively easy to write the commands. The added advantage is that they can be written in any programming language. So, there is no requirement for one to learn Ruby.

What Is Ansible Tower?

In the early years of development of Ansible, it was found that there no GUI for Ansible. The problem was that as the CLI was also not synced well there could have been two different results from the same node. It became a problem for the new users.

So, the Ansible Towers introduced as a solution to the problem. It is a comprehensive UI based on the web. This contains most of the features of Ansible that render a graphical output like the real-time node monitoring.

The Ansible Tower is an easy-to-use UI. Centralise the Ansible structure from a UI that has role-based access control, scheduling of a job, graphical inventory management, etc. It also provides a real-time output. They will offer out of the box cloud support. Some important features are Role-based access control, Job scheduling, Portal mode, fully documented REST API, Tower Dashboard, Cloud integration, etc.

So, it can be concluded that the Ansible Tower is a very useful add-on. It can do what most can do on the CLI. By presenting and automating some of the main tasks graphically it will compliment the main application. It also helps to minimise the intimidation factors for those that are a new user of Ansible. If you want to create a playbook, the Ansible CLI is undoubtedly the best option.